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Old 07-16-2018, 04:43 PM
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English language question


A few years ago, I drove a 2007 Ford Focus station wagon. My wife drove a 2008 Ford Focus sedan.

Collectively, would you say we owned Foci or Focuses?
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:54 PM
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Focuses.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:57 PM
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The International Trademark Association recommends never using a trademarked name in the plural or possessive, unless they're already in that form. Thus, they'd want us to say something like "two Ford Focus automobiles." The ITA however has no police powers over usage of the English language. In fact, nobody does. You can say what you want and nobody will arrest you.

Last edited by bibliophage; 07-16-2018 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:41 PM
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I say Ford Foci and Toyota Matrices because I'm a bit of a jerk--not because I think it's correct.

How do you pluralize Kia Spectra or Mazda Millenia?
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
I say Ford Foci and Toyota Matrices because I'm a bit of a jerk--not because I think it's correct.
I would probably do the same, but don't think I'm being a jerk by doing so. I just like to play with language, especially alternative plurals.

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How do you pluralize Kia Spectra or Mazda Millenia?
Spectrae and Milleniae.

Who's going to be the first to tell me those aren't correct Latin plurals?
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:19 AM
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Actually, the correct plural would be "spectrata"


<ducking and running>
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:24 AM
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Neither. Smoothness is important to me in language. I would say, "We have two Ford Focus vehicles in our family." I try to avoid what I feel are awkward expressions even if they aren't syntactically incorrect per se.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:36 AM
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As noted there is no legislation on this, but I pluralize proper names by adding s or es. A Focus is not a focus. Ford Focuses. Another example: Toronto Maple Leafs (common usage, not my personal preference).
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:37 AM
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Actually, the correct plural would be "spectrata"


<ducking and running>
I don't think Latin is your first language.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:56 AM
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Well, of course not. I started with classical Etruscan.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
As noted there is no legislation on this, but I pluralize proper names by adding s or es. A Focus is not a focus. Ford Focuses. Another example: Toronto Maple Leafs (common usage, not my personal preference).
There is a fairly common last name of "Foote". Of course people are going to want to pluralize it as "Feete"
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:24 AM
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Actually, the correct plural would be "spectrata"


<ducking and running>
Any models called Charisma? I've heard the plural of that is charismata. Although how one has more than one charisma puzzles me.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:27 AM
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"What type of car do you own?"

"Ford Focus. In fact, I own two of them."
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:37 AM
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There is a fairly common last name of "Foote". Of course people are going to want to pluralize it as "Feete"
Proudfeet!
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:05 PM
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"What type of car do you own?"

"Ford Focus. In fact, I own two of them."
"I park them in the ellipse."
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:24 PM
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Any models called Charisma? I've heard the plural of that is charismata. Although how one has more than one charisma puzzles me.
You're thinking of charisma as the specific one which we can also call "charm". But originally, charisma means "gift as in talent": so, someone who's a gifted singer and good with languages has two separate charismas (I'm not going to use the Greek plural when speaking English ); note that I haven't touched on whether he is or is not in possession of the kind of charisma we speak of when we're talking of politicians or actors.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:38 PM
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I try to avoid what I feel are awkward expressions even if they aren't syntactically incorrect per se.
The second half of that sentence is hard to reconcile with the first half.
Did you lose focus?
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:35 AM
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I might say "Foci" or "Tauri" or "Prii" (actually Toyota's preferred Prius plural in English) once as a "joke," like "My dad owned a couple of Tauri before switching to minivans when he got grandchildren." (And now I can never say that again, regardless of my audience, because it'll sound horribly forced to me instead of vaguely clever. You're welcome, family. My apologies, fellow Dopers.)

But as a rule, I'd say "Focuses" or "Tauruses" or "Priuses."

Last edited by Kimble; 08-15-2019 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:06 AM
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In my opinion, trying to use Latin or Greek rules today is pointless and confusing.

I agree with CookingWithGas who said "I pluralize proper names by adding s or es."
Given that television is a mixture of Latin and Greek, what plural would classicists use?

We can end a sentence with a preposition.

It's not Latin or Greek, but we can also use a split infinitive too!
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
In my opinion, trying to use Latin or Greek rules today is pointless and confusing.

I agree with CookingWithGas who said "I pluralize proper names by adding s or es."
Given that television is a mixture of Latin and Greek, what plural would classicists use?

We can end a sentence with a preposition.

It's not Latin or Greek, but we can also use a split infinitive too!
Amen.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
In my opinion, trying to use Latin or Greek rules today is pointless and confusing.

I agree with CookingWithGas who said "I pluralize proper names by adding s or es."
Given that television is a mixture of Latin and Greek, what plural would classicists use?

We can end a sentence with a preposition.
Hear! Hear! Using Latin or Greek plural forms for anything other than about five well-established words is pointless and pretentious. Heck, I'm in favor of eliminating most of English's irregular plurals (what's wrong with 'oxes' or 'gooses'? Couldn't we use our brain cells for something more useful than remembering a bunch of random, useless, exceptions to a standard rule?)

Quote:
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It's not Latin or Greek, but we can also use a split infinitive too!
Well, I'm not sure I want to really go that far...
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:43 AM
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Couldn't we use our brain cells for something more useful than remembering a bunch of random, useless, exceptions to a standard rule?)
Then we'd just have to use more of our brains to remember that we're not doing geese or oxen anymore. Inertia's a powerful force.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
As noted there is no legislation on this, but I pluralize proper names by adding s or es. A Focus is not a focus. Ford Focuses. Another example: Toronto Maple Leafs (common usage, not my personal preference).
And I always thought it was the Toronto Make Believes.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:43 PM
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If you're going to say "Foci", you owned an MMVII and an MMVIII ...
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Yllaria View Post
Any models called Charisma? I've heard the plural of that is charismata. Although how one has more than one charisma puzzles me.
When you have a charismatic you can make as many charismata as you want, automatically.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:42 PM
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(what's wrong with 'oxes' or 'gooses'?
Why is the 'accepted' plural (the only one ever used) of sheep ----- sheep?
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:56 PM
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I would say Nos habuerunt Foci if I was speaking Latin.

Or We owned Focuses if I was speaking English.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:59 PM
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Why is the 'accepted' plural (the only one ever used) of sheep ----- sheep?
Because shoop sounds silly.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:31 PM
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Because shoop sounds silly.
Shoop sounds great here!
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